The British bank HSBC recently came out with a study that looked at the best countries for expatriates, people residing in another country, to live in based on economic opportunities and quality of life. The study came out with some surprising results. Amongst the best countries for expats to live in include small rich countries, and amongst the worst are Western European countries. Although some of the countries have better qualities of life, many of these countries are not welcoming to foreigners.

China and Thailand are the two best countries to be an expatriate in according to the study. This is surprising considering that increased pollution and food safety issues are major problems in China. Regardless, China has a booming economy that creates opportunities for expatriates. Western European countries ranked amongst the lowest for expatriates to live in. The struggling European economy and the higher cost of living in these countries make it very expensive for expats and limits economic opportunities. In descending order, the worst European countries for expats to live in are France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Ireland.

The World Economic Forum came out with a report that ranked country’s attitudes towards foreigners. Many of the countries that are ranked well for expatriates are ranked low for being welcoming to foreigners. For example China is a topped ranked country for expatriates to live in, but is one of the least welcoming to foreigners. Similarly, the Western European countries that did not have many economic opportunities are very welcoming to foreigners. Some countries that are ranked high in both surveys include many of the European countries that are not being affected by the struggling European economy, such as Germany and Switzerland.

When searching for a country to live abroad in, it is important to position yourself in a country that provides economic opportunities, but is also welcoming to foreigners. As business is becoming more global, many expatriates are taking these factors into account when deciding where to move. For more information on these countries, visit the country insight pages on globalEDGE.

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